Mona is the best in the world!
MONA McSharry has gone into the history books after winning a Gold and Bronze medal at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Indianapolis. The 17- year- old is the first person from Ireland to ever win a Gold medal in the 100m Breaststroke and the Grange teenager’s Gold adds to her collection of Gold and Silver medals in the 50m, 100m and 200m at the Euro- pean Juniors earlier this summer. A homecoming in her native Grange is expected following her return on Wednesday.
Donal Gilroy, one of the organisers said everyone is bursting with pride. He added: “For the people in North Sligo what Mona achieved on Saturday night was far more important than the Conor McGregor fight.”
BACK in June, Mona McSharry was the toast of Europe after winning gold and silver medals in the 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke. Now, she is World Champion. The 17- year- old girl from Grange won Gold in the 100m Breaststroke at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Indianapolis on Saturday night. This followed her first medal, Bronze in the 50m Breaststroke earlier in the week. She wasn’t done just yet, at the time of going to print with Mona competing in the 200m Breaststroke last night. It’s a phenomenal achievement for the North Sligo star, who has cemented her name in the history books. A Civic Reception for the young athlete is being organised by Sligo Co Council in the near future, while the Grange community is set to welcome her home with a special ceremony. In just eight weeks, the newly crowned World Champion has won World and European 100m Breaststroke Gold, World Bronze and European Gold in the 50m Breaststroke and European 200m Breaststroke Silver, the World 200m event took place on Monday. Mona lead from start to the finish, winning out by .37 of a second over silver medalist Faith Knelson of Canada ( 1: 07.47), USA’s Zoe Bartel completed the podium in 1: 07.63. Racing to the championship title and gold medal the Marlins Donegal star eclipsed Fiona Doyle’s 2015 Irish Record of 1: 07.15 by five hundredths of a second winning in 1: 07.10, knocking almost three tenths of a second off her own previous best of 1: 07.38 from this year’s Irish Open. “It’s wonderful to win here at the World Juniors, to stand on top of the podium and hear our anthem played,” Mona said afterwards. “I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me on my journey so far; and now for the 200m – I’m not finished yet! I’m one of the only athletes at a world- junior level that’s ever won a medal for Ireland, and to be able to make history like that, it’s phenomenal, really. “When other swimmers are watching, younger ones, they can obviously see where you can go. If you watch an American, it’s not the same as watching someone from your home country,” Mona on what her performance at World Juniors could mean for Irish swimming. Her achievements on the World stage have the whole county and country talking about the Grange swimmer. Donal Gilroy, chairman of the local Community Games in Grange, said everyone is talking about Mona’s success. “Mona has done superbly, we were all watching her live on Saturday night in the 100m. “She’s not done yet and we’ll be watching her later today in the 200m final,” he added. “The 100m is probably her strongest and no doubt she will also make a good show of herself in tonight’s final.” Donal and other locals were involved in her homecoming following the European success and plans are being put in place for another celebration when Mona returns from Indianapolis this week. “We haven’t organised anything yet, Mona is not back in Ireland until Wednesday. “We are meeting tonight to see what we will do. “I know the Co Council are planning on organising a Civic Reception and they have to announce a day for that.” He said that plans will be in place to either host a homecoming on Wednesday or have a function afterward. “We will definitely be putting posters up to welcome Mona home and there will be bunting and all of that. “Mona is a huge beacon for the area, the county and the country and for that reason, everyone in the community is buzzing, the whole place is talking about her. “For the people in North Sligo, what Mona achieved on Saturday night was far more important than the Conor McGregor fight, “It shows the two ends of sport, the pure amateur youth sport and then the commercial side. “Mona is a truly great ambassador,” he said. Donal also explained that Mona will be inducted into the National Community Games Heroes, joining the likes of Niall Quinn, Sonia O’Sullivan and Tommy Bowe to name a few. “The whole place is bursting with pride for her,” he added. The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Seamus Kilgannon has called Mona McSharry an exceptional athlete and congratulated her on her ‘ outstanding achievement’ in winning the gold medal at the World Junior Swimming Championships. “When you consider that in her short career to date she has won World and European 100m Breaststroke gold, World bronze and European gold in the 50m breaststroke and European 200m breaststroke silver, this is a phenomenal roll of honour. “Mona’s successes are a great source of pride for the while country but particularly in her native county, and we have followed her progress with great interest.” The Cathaoirleach confirmed that Mona will be afforded a Civic Reception by Sligo County Council to formally honour her achievements, a date will be agreed with the McSharry family when she gets a break in her hectic programme of competitions and training. Also lauding her success were Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross T. D. and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T. D. They both congratulated Mona on her historic win in the 100m breaststroke at the World Junior Swimming Championships last Saturday night in Indianapolis. Minister Ross said: “This is fantastic news. What a wonderful victory for Mona and one that she thoroughly deserves. “In the past few weeks this amazing Sligo teenager has collected World and European Junior titles as well as numerous other medals. “At just 17, she is a shining example of dedication, passion and determination in her sport. “I very much look forward to seeing what she will achieve next.” Minister Griffin added; “As well as a stunning victory this was a personal best for McSharry plus a new Irish record. “She is now the fastest 100m junior breaststroke swimmer in the world. “And it’s not over yet. I wish Mona and the rest of the Irish swim team more success over the final days in Indianapolis.” After her success at the World Junior Championships, congratulations were flowing on social media. Mona’s club Ballyshannon Marlins were following her races and were among the first to congratulate her achievements. “Mona has made history with lots more to come!,” the club said. And what a year it’s been so far for the 17- year- old World Champion.
MONA IS A HUGE BEACON FOR THE AREA, THE COUNTY AND THE COUNTRY. THE WHOLE PLACE IS BUZZING
Swimming sensation Mona McSharry wins Gold at the World Junior Swimming Championships
Mona McSharry receiving a Bronze medal in the 50m Breaststroke at the World Junior Championships.
Mona McSharry after her win.